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Photo courtesy of Nimitz Library Archives.

Annapolis’s war-time Army-Navy Game

Today at 3:00 p.m. ET the Army-Navy game will be played in New England for the first time in its 124 year history.

To commemorate this occasion we thought it would be fun to share the story of the last time the iconic matchup was played on the banks of Spa Creek in Annapolis, Maryland. Who better to tell this story than SpinSheet Magazine co-founder, Dave Gendell?

Read a brief version of the story below or click on this link to the SpinSheet Magazine article for the full story.

By the fall of 1942, the Second World War was in full swing and Americans were adjusting to life during total war. President Roosevelt, believing the game was important for morale, suggested that the 1942 game be played in Annapolis, at Thompson Stadium on the Academy grounds, and that it would be broadcast around the world via radio.

Due to wartime travel restrictions and gasoline rationing, it was decided that the game would go on with heavy restrictions on ticketing. No one living outside a 10-mile circle around the Maryland State House would be permitted to attend. The only exceptions were Academy employees, girlfriends of midshipmen, and the press.

“The day of the game brought equally surreal scenes to the Annapolis waterfront … Inside Thompson Stadium, half of the Brigade of Midshipmen was ordered to cheer for Army & they took instruction from cheer books sent down from West Point. These cheer books featured humorous illustrations of goats braying like mules & cartoons of midshipmen cheering with fingers crossed. On November 28, 1942, the Army-Navy game was played in Annapolis for the first time since 1893. The stadium was less than full and Navy won 14-0. The game has not been played in Annapolis since.”

Dave Gendell
“Annapolis’s Last Army-Navy Game”
SpinSheet Magazine, October 1, 2013